Third Decade Thinking

October 2019 climate protests

Crossing London Bridge on my way to work one pleasant October morning, I found traffic at a standstill. Extinction Rebellion activists had blocked the road junction and were using loudspeakers to raise awareness of the climate change issues they wanted people to pay attention to. Despite the cacophony of shouted abuse and honking horns, I listened for a while to their narrative before continuing on my way.

A few minutes later, the automated call of a talking truck saying “Caution, vehicle turning left” caused me to pause before crossing the small alley in front of me. I turned to see an activist on his bicycle, using his megaphone to simulate the message. As he turned into the narrow alley, he thanked the people who had let him through, and who all smiled at his sense of humour.

My realization…

That was the moment I realized activists are regular decent human beings—just Iike you and me. Except for the fact they are passionate about a cause! They show that passion in a way that most other people won’t—by taking direct action. Unfortunately, being disruptive in this negative manner was the only way they knew to take action to raise awareness of their cause—and this is born out of frustration. While I may not agree with all of Extinction Rebellion’s tactics, I respect their members’ passion for saving the environment and humanity.

Individuals may recognize the need for global sustainability but feel powerless—for what can one individual do? I had to think long and hard about how to achieve this—and eventually I came up with the concept of Third Decade Thinking. An innovative way to raise awareness of sustainability-related actions individuals can take to be positively disruptive.

Freaky Thinking

In today’s challenging economic environment, organizations are facing problems and opportunities that need fresh and disruptive thinking to tackle them effectively. Freaky Thinking is the most radical approach to workplace thinking in the last 70 years. Rather than getting employees in a room to brainstorm for new ideas that address a big issue, Freaky Thinking proposes the opposite. Not thinking in meetings—but encouraging people to think outside of those meetings and to bring their best few ideas for discussion in the meeting. You can read more about Freaky Thinking here.

Third Decade Thinking applies these techniques in three distinct waves to help achieve better thinking by individuals and groups around climate change and sustainability.

WAVE 1: Breadwinners

The first wave of Third Decade Thinking engages organizations who are looking for ways to grow, improve, or to overcome issues they face. It’s intended to show how different thinking adds value for organizations in all industries and at all levels. When used within my organization (one of the UK’s largest banks), one young fellow said of the process “You’re helping us to answer the impossible questions that we couldn’t answer before”.

However, organizations don’t think—it’s the individuals within those organizations, the employees, who do he thinking. And every paid employee is a breadwinner for their family—which leads on to the second wave…

WAVE 2: Families

As the breadwinners apply Freaky Thinking to their employer’s issues, they’ll appreciate how straightforward the process is. They may even use it on personal issues they have within their workplace. They can also apply these learned techniques outside of work—in their personal lives and to help their families to grow and develop.

To support them and their family, there will be a new Freaky Thinking for families book published in 2024. This will help families achieve the goals and overcome the issues that they face through thinking differently about their situations. This leads into the third wave…

WAVE 3: Communities

Individual family members—and families as a whole—interact with other people and families as part of their daily lives. These interactions are their involvement with the micro-communities that surround them. Families interact with their schools, their neighbours, their church, their sports clubs, their hobby societies, their local businesses, their neighbourhood, their town, their virtual communities, and potentially many other micro communities too.

It’s these micro-communities that form the backbone of our daily lives and the fabric of society. Later in 2024, there will be a Freaky Thinking book targeted to help micro-communities think differently about big issues that either impact them—or that they want to change.

The outcome

Third Decade Thinking aims to engage individuals through to 2029, for we’re in living in the decade where humanity is at the tipping-point. Now is when we can still make a difference for the future of our environment—without too much pain. Leaving it longer will definitely cause stress for our children, who will have less time to re-dress things, and so will have to take more drastic action.

We can change sustainability behaviours once individuals understand there are meaningful things that they can do. When people join with others to form clusters in different ways—then change is possible. Third Decade Thinking will positively disrupt people’s thinking by helping them deliver value in every aspect of their lives.

Want to become a Third Decade Thinker?

Are you employed by a large or medium-sized organization?

Tell your manager about Freaky Thinking and get them to buy the book for you—because your thinking will deliver great value for them. Get the blue book if you want to do individual thinking and the red book if you want to get others in your team thinking too.

Do you own or manage a small business?

While the Freaky Thinking books are targeted towards employees of larger businesses, the basics in the blue book still apply to your smaller business too.

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